Must-see restaurants in Kyoto

  • Top Choice
    Omen

    This elegant noodle shop, a five-minute walk from Ginkaku-ji, is named after the signature dish – thick white noodles that are served in broth with a…

  • Top Choice
    Kanei

    A small traditional place not far from Funaoka Onsen, Kanei is for soba connoisseurs – the noodles are made by hand and are delicious. The owners don’t…

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    Giro Giro Hitoshina

    Giro Giro takes traditional kaiseki and strips any formality so you're left with great food but in a boisterous atmosphere and with thousands more yen in…

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    Menami

    This welcoming neighbourhood favourite specialises in obanzai-ryōri – a type of home-style cooking using seasonal ingredients – done creatively and served…

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    Kazariya

    There are two restaurants at the eastern entrance to Imamiya-jinja specialising in aburi-mochi (grilled rice cakes coated with soybean flour) served with…

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    Café Bibliotec Hello!

    As the name suggests, books line the walls of this cool cafe located in a converted machiya attracting a mix of locals and tourists. It’s a great place to…

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    Goya

    This Okinawan-style restaurant has tasty food (with plenty of vegetarian options), a plant-filled stylish interior and comfortable upstairs seating. It’s…

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    Yoshikawa

    This is the place to go for delectable tempura with a daily changing menu. Attached to the Yoshikawa ryokan, it offers table seating, but it’s much more…

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    Honke Owariya

    Set in an old sweets shop in a traditional Japanese building on a quiet downtown street, this is where locals come for excellent soba (buckwheat-noodle)…

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    Shigetsu

    To sample shōjin-ryōri, try Shigetsu in the precincts of Tenryū-ji. This healthy fare has been sustaining monks for more than a thousand years in Japan,…

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    Kikunoi

    Michelin-starred chef Murata serves some of the finest kaiseki in the city. Located in a hidden nook near Maruyama-kōen, this restaurant has everything…

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    Kitcho Arashiyama

    Considered one of the best kaiseki restaurants in Kyoto (and Japan, for that matter), Kitcho Arashiyama is the place to sample the full kaiseki experience…

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    Omen Kodai-ji

    Housed in a remodelled Japanese building with a light, airy feeling, this branch of Kyoto’s famed Omen noodle chain is the best place to stop while…

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    Roan Kikunoi

    Roan Kikunoi is a fantastic place to experience the wonders of kaiseki. It's a lovely intimate space located right downtown. The chef takes an…

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    Toraya Karyō Kyoto Ichijō

    This gorgeous tearoom-cafe is a stone's throw from the west side of the Imperial Palace Park. It's fantastic for a break from sightseeing in this part of…

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    Kagizen Yoshifusa

    This Gion institution is one of Kyoto’s oldest and best-known okashi-ya (sweet shops). It sells a variety of traditional sweets and has a lovely tearoom…

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    Papa Jon's

    A short walk from the north border of the Imperial Palace Park, this light-filled cafe serves brilliant New York cheesecake (¥550) and hot drinks. Other…

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    Vegans Cafe & Restaurant

    Who needs meat and dairy when food can taste this good without it? This light-filled cafe is a haven for vegans and vegetarians with a range of meals from…

  • Top Choice
    Toyouke-jaya

    Locals line up for the tofu lunch sets at this famous restaurant across from Kitano Tenman-gū. Set meals usually include tofu, rice and miso soup. The…

  • Usagi no Ippo

    Perfectly located for a break when museum-hopping in the Okazaki-kōen area, this delightful restaurant is set in an old machiya with tatami-mat floors, a…